Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Year-end Promotions, Re-structuring, and New Assignment: Korea's Corporate Culture

By Don Southerton, Editor
Year end organizational promotions, re-structuring, and new assignments for teams are part of Korean corporate culture. This occurs sometime between early December and early January, with the changes to senior leadership happening first, and team level changes most often made known the week between Christmas and New Year's Day.  Some years we see less re-organization of the teams, departmements, and division---some years more. Samsung has announces changes in leadership. This Korea Herald notes accordingly...

Samsung Group conducted its largest-ever promotion of executives Wednesday [December 1] reflecting its successful performance in 2010. 

In the year-end reshuffle, a total of 490 executives, including Samsung Electronics’ Chairman Lee Kun-hee’s younger daughter Lee Seo-hyun, received promotions

The figure was twice the tally in 2009 and increased the number of Samsung executives to around 1,800, company officials said.

Lee, 37, was promoted to executive vice president at Cheil Industries and Cheil Worldwide, two of Samsung’s affiliates. 

In total, 490 executives received promotions. The figure was twice the tally in 2009 and buoyed the number of Samsung executives to around 1,800, company officials said. 

Mirroring the chairman’s latest calls for change and a generation shift at Samsung, the number of new vice presidents ― regarded as leaders in practical-level operations at each affiliate ― were increased to 318 from the previous year’s 260. 

A total of 79 executives were chosen without regard to their previous positions as an indication that performance matters the most at Samsung, according to Rhee In-yong, executive vice president of Samsung communications’ team. 

As a part of that push, three employees in their thirties were made vice presidents. 

Many of the newly promoted executives were from Samsung Electronics, which had enjoyed stellar performance this year on the back of strong mobile phone sales. 

Altogether, slightly over a dozen executives were promoted to vice presidents to reflect a twofold increase from the previous year. 

But the biggest increase was seen in those promoted to senior vice president positions, with the figure reaching 172. This was the largest number yet to date at Samsung, officials said. 

The foreign staff was no exception in the reshuffling, with seven employees receiving promotions. 

Seven female employees were made executives, but the number was still low in contrast to their male counterparts.

As expected, Lee Kun-hee’s only son Lee Jae-yong was promoted to president at Samsung Electronics.

His sister Lee Boo-jin was appointed president of Hotel Shilla and Samsung Everland, the company’s theme park.

Some of the industry watchers criticized the move, saying Samsung needs to prove that the heir and heiress deserve their high-profile posts.

They also saw the appointments as attempts to accelerate the process of handing the Samsung empire down to Lee’s children. 

Another notable change at Samsung was the reassembly of a former management unit.

The company has now rebuilt its planning and strategy department, renaming it the Samsung corporate strategy office ― also dubbed the “Future and Strategy” team. 

The former unit was disbanded amid a scandal at Samsung involving tax evasions and illegal bond transactions.

“The new department will behave to prove that it is now no longer a secret unit that handled shady affairs,” said one company official.

The top members of the new team, however, were mostly from the disassembled unit.

But possibly to show that it has bigger goals in mind for the team, Samsung appointed to the helm Kim Soon-taek, the man in charge of developing new businesses.

Samsung’s next reshuffling of a younger group of employees is scheduled for

Source: Korea Herald

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